Overview of Ancient Greece Government
Ancient Greece government was different for each city-state. These city-states are small divisions of Greece and each employed different forms of government. They usually had common traditions but at times, they fought each other. They believed in the same gods but they had in each of them certain distinctiveness, which sets them apart with other city-states.
One form of ancient Greece government is monarchy. Monarchs ruled over a certain city-state. They had many servants in their palaces. They also assigned officials to help them govern. This was the type of government in the Late Bronze Age.
Oligarchy is another ancient Greece government. This type of government is ruled by a limited group of people. The theory behind oligarchy is that having pure equality among citizens was not appropriate since it subscribed to the idea that not all people were equal – some were just more intelligent, capable and of good economic standing. The idea was that the people belonging on the higher classes of society deserve to rule. Sparta was famous for this type of ancient Greece government. Aristocracy falls under this oligarchy type of government, with aristocrats usually coming from powerful families.
Tyranny was another from of ancient Greece government. Usually these tyrants stayed in power because of the support of the masses. The people were usually promised of benefits in exchange for their support. Tyranny was prevalent during the Classical periods. This type of government usually came about from oligarchies wherein one aristocrat gets the support of the masses for the promises of a better rule – the aristocrat then becomes a tyrant.
Then we have democracy as the last form of ancient Greece government. Important positions in the government were filled in by way of lottery, then imposing term limits. Individuals get to vote and have a say on governance. A fine example for this form is Athens. Other city-states, seeing the positive effects of such type of government on Athens, soon followed suit. A problem during this time with democracy was the impracticality of having to vote while having to attend to responsibilities as planting grain, or fighting wars. Thus, the advent of choosing & selecting a few who will do the majority of the voting.
Some city-states preferred one form of government to the other. On some city-states, the people had a say on the preferred type of governance, while on other city-states, the people were stuck up & had to deal with whatever was imposed upon them. Ancient Greece government took many forms in the different times in Greek history and in the application by the different city-states.